MRC's Graham Lambastes Maddow's Lame 'Dixie Cup Full of Sea Monkeys' on Trump Taxes

On Thursday’s edition of the Fox Business Network’s Risk and Reward, the Media Research Center’s Tim Graham ripped MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and her epic fail regarding Trump’s 2005 tax return, equating it to “a Dixie cup full of sea monkeys” instead of “slay[ing] the sea monster.”

After an intro from fill-in host Liz MacDonald, Graham described Maddow’s blaming of her audience for all the hype as “silly” because “[t]he tweets that she sent out beforehand...caused the liberals to think she was going to slay the sea monster and what they ended up with was sort of a Dixie cup full of sea monkeys.”

Graham pointed out that her superiors at NBC would have put the kibosh on her unveiling the tax returns in favor of NBC Nightly News, so she went ahead (to her own detriment): 

Obviously, if NBC News had two pages of a Trump tax return, they could do maybe two minutes at the start of NBC. What they shouldn't try to do is some sort of 26-minute bait and switch charade on The Rachel Maddow Show. That is not a way to build credibility for NBC in general and it’s obviously not a way to build credibility for Rachel Maddow. Her whole shtick has been, oh, she does her homework. Oh, she’s so serious. Oh, you could listen to her prattle on for 20 minutes. People got tired of the routine and she came off as completely unprepared. 

He also agreed with MacDonald that the President’s tax returns “are a real issue” but “you have to do it right” and Maddow clearly didn’t. 

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Describing what Maddow pulled as having the look and feel of journalism but really “just anti-conservative ranting,” Graham added that she did no favors “bring[ing] on David Cay Johnston as your reporter with all of his raving lunacy about how...Trump is somehow owned by the Chinese communists and the Russian gangsters at the same time.” 

Near the end of the segment, MacDonald and Graham circled back to the issue of Maddow supposedly not sharing the scoop with her bosses, with Graham ruling:

Yes, but I think she wanted the scoop and the fear there would be if you tell NBC that you have it, there's the possibility that, one, they would tell you your story is half-baked, which would be true, or they would say that's a good story, that should really be on NBC, not on your show first and she obviously would have said, well let's try not to do that because it's not as good for me. Maybe she should have done that. 

Here’s the transcript from Graham’s appearance from FBN’s Risk and Reward on March 16:

FBN’s Risk and Reward
March 16, 2017
5:32 p.m. Eastern

[CLIP OF RACHEL MADDOW FROM TUESDAY’s SHOW]

LIZ MACDONALD: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow responded to the backlash over her hyped reveal of President Trump's tax returns, showing he paid a lot of taxes at a 25 percent rate, more than Obama or Sanders. Continuing to make mistakes, she did not have the tax returns, she only had two pages. Maddow, telling the Associated press she never misled anyone, saying: “Because I have information about the President doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal...It doesn’t mean that it’s damning information. If other people leapt to that conclusion without me indicating that it was, that type is external to what we did.” With me now, Media Research Center Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham. Tim, what did you make of that response? 

TIM GRAHAM: Silly. The tweets that she sent out beforehand were like we have Trump's tax returns, which caused the liberals to think she was going to slay the sea monster and what they ended up with was sort of a Dixie cup full of sea monkeys. They were just looking at this saying is that all you have? Obviously, if NBC News had two pages of a Trump tax return, they could do maybe two minutes at the start of NBC. What they shouldn't try to do is some sort of 26-minute bait and switch charade on The Rachel Maddow Show. That is not a way to build credibility for NBC in general and it’s obviously not a way to build credibility for Rachel Maddow. Her whole shtick has been, oh, she does her homework. Oh, she’s so serious. Oh, you could listen to her prattle on for 20 minutes. People got tired of the routine and she came off as completely unprepared. 

MACDONALD: You know, there are plus marks for Maddow. She's passionate, you know, even Huckabee said it. Many would agree that Trump should release his tax returns. You know, she's making the connection that, you know, Trump pays a lot in what’s called Alternative Minimum Tax but he wants to abolish that tax. But then throws her viewers — her own viewers under the bus, blaming, them for the hype saying they're responsible for the hype. They expect it too much, though she hyped it for an hour and a half prior. What are your thoughts? 

GRAHAM: The tax returns are a real issue. It is unprecedented for somebody to run for president without releasing tax returns or at least some portion of their tax returns. Lord knows the Clintons left out some of the incriminating tax returns, the ones that would make them look bad. So, that's a news story, but you have to do it right. This was not doing it right. This was sort of a prank and, of course, she's going to respond to this and try to cover her tracks. It looked a little like the 48 hours after Dan Rather story started to fall apart. You blame everybody else but yourself. It's not dignified. 

MACDONALD: Yeah, she's equated to Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo did not know what was in Al Capone's fault. The issue here is Rachel Maddow knew what was on just those two pages, that's all she had, that Trump paid a lot in taxes and she still hyped a nonstory for an hour and a half. Is she doing journalism here? 

GRAHAM: It has the sounds and the music and the lyrics of journalism but ends up being more, what we're used to from MSNBC, just anti-conservative ranting and to bring on David Cay Johnston as your reporter with all of his raving lunacy about how Obama — Trump is somehow owned by the Chinese communists and the Russian gangsters at the same time doesn't help your show. 

MACDONALD: Yeah, Tim, you know, it's like accusations become tantamount to a conviction. They're trying to bury the President in just speculation. They don't have the facts yet and Maddow last night even going so far as to imply this and to say that this 2005 tax return had to be, quote, “clean” so Melania could become a citizen. Well, if that's the case, why didn't Rachel Maddow break that on the night she broke this non-scoop. Is this after-the-fact backfilling? 

GRAHAM: Well, obviously, journalism is like this. We understand that you’re sometimes — you're going to have a story with the hope that you can build on it. Everybody understands that. But they're not — they're on a wet beach here. They're not building anything. They’re just sort of mucking around.

MACDONALD: But, you know, it was speculation, Tim. You know, this whole thing about Melania is speculation, that's not facts, no reporting about that. You know, this is just trying to fix it after the fact and parent NBC not happy with MSNBC according to the New York Post, they're reporting that they were kept — NBC, the parent network, was kept in the dark and Maddow hyped the story, failed to deliver and she didn't tell the MSNBC — NBC execs what she had. Should they have been told before doing the segment? 

GRAHAM: Yes, but I think she wanted the scoop and the fear there would be if you tell NBC that you have it, there's the possibility that, one, they would tell you your story is half-baked, which would be true, or they would say that's a good story, that should really be on NBC, not on your show first and she obviously would have said, well let's try not to do that because it's not as good for me. Maybe she should have done that. 

MACDONALD: Tim Graham, you are always terrific. Please come back soon. We love having you on. 

GRAHAM: Thanks.

MACDONALD: Sure. 

Taxes Media Bias Debate Conspiracy Theories Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Fox Business Network Video Tim Graham Rachel Maddow David Cay Johnston Donald Trump

Sponsored Links